The Basics of Trance Music Rolling Basslines Pt.1

Well, the Creating Trance community voted over the last week and the focus of this short series will be on rolling baselines. Make sure you check out each post as it comes out to get all the Trance music production tutorials.

[aside title=”The Basics!“] You first need to know the fundamentals to free yourself and be able to focus on things like better sound design![/aside] This first installment of the Trance music rolling baseline series will be looking at an uplifting trance style and approach of both the sound design of the bass synth and the programming of the MIDI. Before we get started, keep in mind that whatever we cover is not dependent in any way upon the DAW, synths or plugins we feature. These things can be accomplished easily using any program of your choosing.

Let’s get a quick bass synth made. In the interest of keeping this lesson moving quickly and easy to understand I will use the ES2 synth, which is a synth that comes standard with Logic Pro Studio. If you use a sample rather than designing a sound yourself, that’s fine. And it is also common practice to layer more than one bass together to achieve a more complex and fuller bass that cuts through the mix well. This is a very basic sound we will simply use to illustrate the process involved in setting up a nice rolling baseline for Uplifting Trance music.

And now to program in some MIDI to trigger our bass in the pattern we want. There are several patterns that work well with this genre and have proven quite successful. Below are a couple of options.

And we need to add a kick drum at the very least to get a feel for the influence coming from the beat. I fired up Ultrabeat and programmed a quick loop for this example.

This should give you the very basic tools needed to get started with setting up your own rolling basslines. Try the patterns shared above in this lesson and then experiment with making your own. It’s really quite easy once you get the hang of it. Below is an audio sample of the five basic patterns shown above, using the simple bass and kick drum I put together.

[audio:|titles=Basic Rolling Basslines]

Now in the next installments we will go into more detail as to how you can design, layer and mix the bass for the very possible results. A lot goes into this. In fact, often times much more than the actual writing of the music itself. There are many factors to consider including EQ and mixing, compression, effects, the notes played by each of the different layers, etc. So stay tuned for the next update, tomorrow!


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